Message from the President

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J.
President

 

Message from the President

I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received in returning to Creighton University and my home state of Nebraska. It is truly an honor to serve as the 25th president of this great institution.

I am humbled by this opportunity, and I am excited to partner with constituents across the University, especially our alumni, to build on the legacy of leadership of past presidents Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., and John P. Schlegel, S.J., and all of those who have made and continue to make Creighton such a unique and special place.

I grew up in Fremont, Neb., about an hour from Creighton’s campus. I studied as a Jesuit scholastic in Creighton’s Jesuit Humanities Program in the 1996-97 academic year, and I returned in 2000 to teach for three years in the Philosophy Department. Those years at Creighton University were wonderfully formative experiences. I gained a deep appreciation for the dedication and commitment of Creighton’s faculty, and I was impressed by the inquisitiveness, openness and work ethic of Creighton’s students. I’m proud to say that in my first few months returning as president, I have found those attributes continue to thrive and flourish here at Creighton University.

Under Fr. Lannon’s leadership, I also had an opportunity to serve on Creighton University’s Board of Trustees. Combined with my service on the boards of Boston College and Xavier University, these experiences have provided unique insights into the issues and complexities of Jesuit higher education.

As I expressed in my inaugural address, there is a real need to study and attempt to better understand the conditions and realities of those around us — whether these “neighbors” are living next door in a residence hall, in our community or halfway around the world. And then we need to provide opportunities for our students and ourselves to reflect on those realities and our role within them, so that we may offer a just response that uplifts humanity and deepens our relationship with God.

We, at Creighton, realize that this is not an easy journey. As I challenged our incoming freshman students at Academic Convocation, this is a time for them to break the boundaries of the familiar and friendly and go beyond their comfort zones. It is a time to search for self-understanding and to reflect on the challenges confronting our communities, nation and world.

I am confident that this freshman class — the largest in the history of Creighton University — will pick up this mantle, as have generations of Creighton students and alumni before them.

As I begin my first year as president, I encourage and welcome our alumni and friends to walk this path with us — to accompany Creighton University on a journey to an even brighter future.

Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins indicates that our world is trod, seared, and bleared, and that social and global malaises can seem daunting. But his poetry reminds us that the world is also graced by God, and that each of us is called to dimensions of greatness.

May God be with you and your family during this holy season. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy new year!

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J.
President